Michael K. Williams ’role in The Incredible Hulk was a four-second cameo, however, he also filmed larger scenes in The Hulk and The Abomination.
Michael K. Williams has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in The Amazing Hulk; however, he was originally set to appear on a larger scene with Hulk and The Abomination. The Emmy -nominated actor tragically died earlier this month, leaving an impressive set of work including roles in HBO movies The wire and Empire on the Boardwalk, as well as supporting roles in films 12 Years as a Slave and The Child is gone among many others. His part in The Amazing Hulk however almost completely fell to the floor in the cutting room.
The Amazing Hulk is the second installment of Marvel Cinematic Universe, arrived just a month later Man of iron in the summer of 2008. Starring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, the film tried to get the feel of a 1970’s/80’s TV movie and distanced itself from the 2003 film, Hulk. However, the film received mixed reviews and half box office compared to its budget and was quickly covered by other installments of The Infinity Saga.
At the end of the film antagonist Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) turns into Shame and begins to flood Harlem. In the chaos, Williams (credited with ‘Harlem Bystander’) ran out of a shop and witnessed the monster throwing cars, one of which landed next to him. His inclusion is a total of three shots that cost four seconds of screen time and are easily missed within the noise and destruction of the screen. However, according to a 2014 interview with the actor (by CinemaBlend), he implies that he is in another scene where he is caught Shame and the Hulk and tried to prevent them from destroying Harlem.
“I will go out of the building. You know, I screamed. And then I was running with everyone and then all of a sudden, I was stuck between the Hulk and the Shame. And I was like, ‘Holy shit, what am I going to do? Everything is calm. Stop bothering my street. Why don’t you like Connecticut? And fight there! Why are you in Harlem? ‘ And then finally Shame got really angry, and I was like, ‘You know what, Hulk, I don’t like him. Go kick his ass! ‘”
According to Williams, Edward Norton was upset that the scene was cut, as he wrote and directed it. However, it is one of many scenes in the film (like 70 minutes of footage) that are shot but discarded to keep the running time under 2 hours. Aside from the runtime, another possible reason for its absence could be the cost of the additional visual effects needed to make its CGI co-stars survive. However, there didn’t seem to be any bad will from Williams, who enjoyed working with Norton on the scene. Unfortunately, Williams had a similar experience on a larger scale later in his career when his description of crime boss Dryden Vos cut completely from Solo: A Star Wars Story. At that point, scheduling conflicts prevented him from returning for the reshoot, and fellow MCU alumni Paul Bettany would take over the role, re-filming his shot scenes.
Michael K. Williams is a talented actor and it’s a shame that his one and only MCU appearance was cut. However, Marvel seems to be finally embracing The Amazing Hulk in Phase 4, with call-backs and connections Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, ug What If …?, as well as in the future He-Hulk Disney+series. If its popularity continues to rise there is always hope that the upcoming home media release could include its deleted scene and give fans a chance to see. Michael K. Williams’ full performance.
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